Thursday, December 11, 2008

Reflecting On Our Personal Spaces

A survey was sent out before the Green Dinner #6 to gather an idea of how people perceive their space. During the dinner, we shared some of the responses with everyone for some of the questions. I think the most telling responses from this survey came from the question that asked to describe your favorite space using 3 adjectives. We compiled these words into a Wordle:

The more frequently a word was used, the larger it appears in the Wordle. We can see that the largest words are "reflective", "comfortable", "peaceful", "happy", and "safe". When I saw this, I thought it was interesting that individuals in this group found the places most dear to them to be places where they could be reflective, comfortable, peaceful, etc. The question then arose, what does this say about us?

If we are a people of reflection, comfort, and inner peace, than our environment must simply be reflecting its inhabitants. In this way, our environment is directly affected by us. Our own behavior and character directly shapes the spaces we occupy. Similarly, it must be true that an environment can also affect the character and behavior of the individual. If you spend enough time in a certain place, it becomes a part of you.

I'd like to put forth an aphorism for all to reflect on, "Where you are, is who you are." Our connection with the environment is stronger and more serious than most would like to believe. If we find that we need to make improvements in our lives, changing our environment should be one of the things we concern ourselves with. The reverse should also serve true. If we wish to make changes in our environment, we should start with changing ourselves, and this will resonate in the places around us.

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